The Bulletin

Congratulations! A Community Profile

James Beard Award for CWS Parent Michael Gebert

CWS parent, Michael Gebert, recently won a James Beard Foundation Award. The Beard Foundation is a highly respected not for profit that recognizes excellence in the culinary arts. Michael’s award is one of the top national awards in the food journalism category. He received this award for his participation in the Chicago Reader’s Key Ingredient chef challenge series. Michael does the video and Julia Thiel writes the pieces in the Chicago Reader. Click here to see the series.

You can read more about the award ceremony at Michael’s blog, Sky Full of Bacon.

Waldorf-Inspired Summer Camp

Camp Glen Brook Offers Mindful & Developmental Summer Camp Experience

Since 1946, Camp Glen Brook in Marlborough, New Hampshire, has been weaving the ideals of Waldorf education with a traditional New England camp experience. We offer a 3- or 6-week summer camp during which lifetime bonds are formed and which is modeled after Rudolf Steiner’s vision of the development of the child.

Camp Glen Brook’s summer camp serves boys and girls ages 8 to 14. The program balances and harmonizes the needs of the bodies, minds, and hearts of the children as they grow and develop.

The goal of our program is to nurture in children the capacity for free thinking and action as adults. We do this through an underlying form of rhythm and structure. We believe that premature exposure to too many choices and ever-changing structures can give an illusory sense of freedom that can actually undermine the attainment of genuine and deep freedom in later life.

With few exceptions, children must participate in every camp program and activity, thereby engaging in a wide spectrum of experiences. Most often campers are expert in some activities and can encourage and help others find greater success, while in other activities they need the support and expertise of their peers. Through these and other experiences at Glen Brook, a true community is built - rather than a society of individuals only striving for self-enhancement.

For more info visit:
Contact: Twain Braden, Director or 603-876-3342
Camp Glen Brook, 35 Glen Brook Rd., Marlborough, NH 03455

May Fair Embraces and Bows to the Elements

Dear Members of the Chicago Waldorf School Community-

Due to the current forecast for colder temperatures and a strong chance of showers on Saturday, the May Fair planners, PTO and CWS administration have decided to implement the 2011 May Fair indoor contingency plan.

The May Fair will be presented indoors.

The date, times and full roster of entertainment and activities will be the same. Tomorrow: Saturday May 14th 10am - 4pm.

Please enter the May Fair through the CWS auditorium’s main entrance doors. (The main office entrance doors will be closed). All entertainment and performances will now be presented in the auditorium. (Except Circus Club performance remains in the gym). All crafts, games, tables, and other family activities will now be set-up in the gymnasium. Food vendors will be in the back of the auditorium.

Since ALL activities are still being presented it is imperative that volunteers still show up for your assigned shifts.

All parent volunteers please arrive 5-10 min early to the fair to find your indoor activity area. And please report to your area at the regularly scheduled time. There are no changes to the shift times and duties that are already assigned.

Leaders will meet set-up crews tomorrow morning with full plans for arranging the fair’s activities indoors. If you are one of those crews, please come to the auditorium to meet the set-up leaders.

And finally, it’s important to note that this change is planned so that our families and friends can come to our school and continue to have fun and enjoy a full plate of activities and Spring-themed experiences. The Maypole Dance will still welcome Spring in all of its glory.

We thank you all for your support and energy as we adapt to Mother Nature’s whims. It will be a fitting way to celebrate Spring and its powerful potential for renewal.

May Fair Entertainment
The May Fair has something fun for everyone. Check out this line-up!

10am Assane Seck will open our fair with drumming in the auditorium.
11am Licorice Sticks. Find this CWS staple in the auditorium.
12pm Maypole Dance. Watch our students perform in the gymnasium.
1pm Danger and Beauty Hour. Our own circus club will perform in the gymnasium.
2pm African Dance and Music Institute. Location in the auditorium.
3pm Magician Sean Masterson. Find his witty magic show in the auditorium.



Invite Your Friends to the CWS May Fair!

[vimeo 11794519 w=400 h=300]

Saturday, May 14th from 10:00am to 4:00pm

Some Background to the May Fair
Separated by many countries and centuries from its pre-Christian origins, the celebration of the return of spring is a unique part of life surrounding the Chicago Waldorf School. May Day, generally celebrated on the first of the month, has a significant connection to the festival of Flora and folk dancing of long ago that celebrated springtime fertility. European settlers brought this tradition to America where it is still practiced by many communities including Waldorf schools where it takes on the name “May Fair.”

What is May Fair
May Fair is an annual celebration of Spring, arts, and crafts put on by Waldorf schools throughout the Americas and Europe. This event always supports the belief in creativity and imagination in which Waldorf schools respect and nourish the whole child. May Fair takes on its own aura for each individual school as activities range from barbecues to child-made crafts, woodworking, silk dying and more. Yet, the most integral part of the fair remains the maypole dance that evokes the same pride and spirit as it did in festivals centuries ago.

What is the maypole dance? 
Often the center of May celebrations, the maypole bears garlands and is a symbol for the growth of new vegetation and spring life. Dancers gather around the pole that is sprawling with greenery and colored ribbons attached to the top. They will then walk or skip in opposite directions allowing the strings to intertwine or create a braided wave around the pole. This colorful weave and dance is a special part of the coming of Spring.

What makes CWS May Fair special?
The CWS May Fair has evolved from a celebration for children into a community-wide affair that seeks to incorporate the spirit of a Waldorf education into students, families, and the neighborhood. The festival features dancing, live entertainment and music, games, food, craft-making, and unique vendors and exhibitors. Maureen Flannery, a current CWS grandparent, has seen the event change throughout the years as it has grown along with the size of the school. She and her husband once held the position as May Fair queen and king which used to be an integral part of May Day celebrations. She also remembers the Mummers Plays, troupes of actors known as mummers or guisers, that were incorporated into the event for some years as a tribute to the celebration’s English heritage. “The dunk tank and petting zoo were very popular among students in the past”, Maureen said as well.

May Fair has become a large and special event within the neighborhood and is an integral way to demonstrate Waldorf values to the community at large. As families, friends, and children participate in Maypole dancing or craft-making, creativity and imagination shine at Chicago Waldorf School.

Here are a few more links to interesting historical images and facts:

Old maypole postcards
1920s Maypole Dance
Maypole engraving
The country Maypole
A history of the dance

Historical Profile submitted by Brittany Aller

Attend Our Spring "All School Meeting"

Spring State of the School Meeting Wednesday, May 11th from 7:00pm – 9:00pm

You are warmly and cordially invited to attend the annual 2011 Spring State of the School meeting in the CWS auditorium. This event (sometimes also referred to as the “All School Meeting”) is an important opportunity for our community to meet the school’s Board of Trustees, College Chair, and Administrative Director and hear about the finances, operations and programs at the school.

The PTO is hosting the event and is inviting everyone in our community to come at 7:00pm for refreshments and social gathering. This will be followed from 7:30pm-7:50pm with a musical recital by our High School students directed by Jeff Spade before the topic presentations start at 7:50pm.

The State of the School meeting will be full of information about all sorts of issues that are important to our families and the school’s future.

At the behest of the PTO, the evening’s topics will include reports from the Board of Trustees and College of Teachers, an overview of efforts being undertaken this year by the Strategic Planning Committee and additional reports on fund development, the budget and more.

A community question and answer period will follow. We invite you to attend, socialize, and then participate in this dialogue with the school’s leaders.

Invitation Announcement submitted by
Sally Rosenthal & Sheryl Wandler
Parent Teacher Organization Co-chairs

7th Grade Field Trip in 2011

EUREKA! (The Life and Times of Archimedes) Goes on the Road to Midwest Schools

The 7th grade will be embarking on its class trip in the last week of May. Like most 7th grade field trips at CWS, the current 7th grade will be engaging in the high ROPES, team challenges, and a climbing wall challenge. These adventure events are set to occur in Howell, Michigan. The 7th grade will also visit Greenfield Village in Dearborn, Michigan where they will see the resurrection of Thomas Edison’s lab, the Wright brothers’ bicycle shop, the workings of steam engines revealed, slave and masters’ dwellings from the 19th Century American South, and many other remarkable expressions of our colonial and early industrial past.

The 7th grade will be remounting its production of their original play for three Michigan Waldorf schools.

The heart of our trip, however, will be two performances of Eureka! (The Life and Times of Archimedes) – yes, it has been re-titled from Archimedes since our November performances at CWS. The play opens as the commanders of a Roman army, eager to secure the city of Syracusa in Sicily as a strategic prize in Rome’s war with Carthage, debate the strategy whereby they can take it. Their efforts have been stymied for years by the war machines devised by Archimedes of Syracusa.

The means and opportunity to overcome the siege are at last determined when two personal slaves of Archimedes are brought before the Roman general Marcellus. Through them we learn about life in Archimedes’ household and the palace of his friend and supporter, King Hieron of Syracusa some forty years earlier. We are witness to his famous experiment with the gold crown of King Hieron, as well as his infamous clothes-less run through the streets of Syracusa. Marcellus, moved by the slaves’ account, seeks to rescue Archimedes and his family in the inevitable sacking of the city. His efforts, however, prove insufficient to restrain an overzealous Roman soldier, who murders Archimedes, and the play resolves with a lament and tribute to this remarkable human being, whose achievements we experience and benefit from (usually without knowing it) throughout our lives.

Both performances will take place on the beautiful stage of the Detroit Waldorf School. The first performance will take place before parents of the Detroit Waldorf School; the second will be a day-time performance before twelve classes, collectively from the Detroit Waldorf School, the Oakland Steiner School, and the Rudolf Steiner School of Ann Arbor. The dates of these performances will be May 25th and May 26th.

The play itself is the product of collaboration between class teacher John Trevillion and music director Jeff Spade. The transformation of the play into a production required the efforts of all of the 7th grade parents, but key among them have been those of Mary Spalding, Liz Heavenrich, Isabel Liss, and Anne Libera. The “road show” sets have been “down-sized” from their ambitious November proportions, but the drama and songs remain intact. Mr. Spade will travel with us and provide piano accompaniment. Most importantly, the 7th grade is excited and eager to perform their play once more.



Celebrate and Invest in The Year of the Teacher

Support our Teachers. Give to the 2011 Annual Fund

Our 2010-2011 Annual Fund is working to reinforce an important initiative–to support the efforts to reinstate the salaries and pension for our faculty and staff. The CWS Annual Fund total as of May 1 is $127,000.00. Please help us make a world of difference for those who make a difference in the world. Annual Fund giving provides budgetary support for educational initiatives that tuition alone does not cover. We are very grateful to all of our generous supporters of the Chicago Waldorf School!

Please give to the CWS Annual Fund so that we can make our goal of $200,000.00!

You can track the progress of the Annual Fund in the candle graphic in the right-hand column of the bulletin. Keep an eye on “the candle” each week to monitor our progress. We thank everyone for your continued support of our wonderful school and for all who have already given to the annual fund. If you haven’t already given to the best of your capacity, please do so before the end of our school year. The last day of Annual Fund giving is June 30.

Your contribution to the CWS Annual Fund will enable us to support The Year of the Teacher. With your help, we can “Light the Fires of Learning!” and together, we can make the flame come alive.


Thunder Athletics

Swim Team Athletes Demonstrate Excellence

Congratulations to CWS student athletes, Armel Cazedepats and Keven Henley! Their YWCA Flying Fish swim team excelled at the recent Sunkissed Invitational Jr.-Sr. Swimming Championships. The team beat two meet records, five team records and achieved 141 personal bests and five first-place swims! The Flying Fish team earned gold and silver medals in swim team relays at the competition. CWS student athlete, Keven Henley, was a member of the relay team that took 1st place in Boys Senior 400 yd. Freestyle Relay and 2nd place in Boys Senior 400 yd. Medley Relay.

These athletes worked extremely hard all season and we are proud of their dedication and accomplishments! Great job Keven & Armel!

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